In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Chicco SmartSupport Backpack Review

A bare-bone backpack carrier with limited adjustability or features
chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review
Credit: Chicco
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Price:   $130 List | $129.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Plush lumbar padding
Cons:  Limited adjustability, no storage, no stirrups, inadequate canopy
Manufacturer:   Chicco
By Molly Bradac & BabyGearLab Review Team  ⋅  Sep 29, 2022
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18
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 11
  • Parent Comfort - 30% 1.0
  • Storage - 20% 1.0
  • Child Comfort - 25% 1.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 4.0

The Skinny

The Chicco SmartSupport is a simple, bare-bones pack that accommodates a child from 17-40 pounds. This pack is a little too simple compared to the competition of baby backpacks. Honestly, it's easier to list why we dislike this carrier than to say what we like. Although the Chicco SmartSupport may get the job done, it isn't ideal. Its lack of storage and limited adjustability create a poor user experience and increase the potential for parent discomfort. While Chicco's affordable price may attract some parents, we think investing in a better-performing backpack will bring greater satisfaction when getting around with your baby.

Editor's Note: We created this gear review on September 7th, 2022, as a tested addition to our baby backpack review.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $130 List
$129.99 at Amazon
$280 List
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$135 List
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$140 List
$139.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Plush lumbar paddingEasy on the wallet, fit for narrower builds, comfy for passengers and parentsBudget-friendly, good storageInexpensive, sun and rain canopyLightweight, budget-friendly
Cons Limited adjustability, no storage, no stirrups, inadequate canopyVery limited storage, canopy costs extra, no dedicated spot for a hydration bladderLower quality, not very comfortable for parent or childHard to access storage, convoluted adjustments, poor child comfortNo torso adjustment, no canopy, thin padding
Bottom Line A bare-bone backpack carrier with limited adjustability or featuresThis high-quality, less expensive pack is comfortable for babies and parents with narrower builds but the storage is limitedInexpensive option with good storage, but it isn't that comfortable to wear or ride inAwkward functionality in a poorly fitting packLimited adjustments means a poor fit for parents and babies
Rating Categories Chicco SmartSupport... Deuter Kid Comfort... LuvdBaby Premium Clevr Cross Country Phil and Teds Parade
Parent Comfort (30%)
1
9.0
6.0
5.0
1
Storage (20%)
1
6.0
7.0
3.0
4.0
Child Comfort (25%)
1
9.0
5.0
4.0
2.0
Ease of Use (25%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
Specs Chicco SmartSupport... Deuter Kid Comfort... LuvdBaby Premium Clevr Cross Country Phil and Teds Parade
Usage Ranges Min-Max: 17 lbs - 40 lbs Min-Max: When child can sit upright independently - 48 lbs Min-Max: 16 lbs - 40 lbs Min-Max: 16 lbs - 33 lbs //Min/Max:// 16 lbs - 40 lbs
Max Pack Load 40 lbs 48 lbs N/A 40 lbs 40 lbs
Weight 5.8 lbs 6 lbs 6.4 lbs 5.3 lbs 4.6 lbs
BGL Folded/Flat Dimensions 17" W x 11" H x 35" L 16.5" W x 10" H x 31" L 14.7" W x 9.5" H x 28.5" L 15" W x 11" H x 30" L 14" W x 7.5" H x 24" L
Frame Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Fabric 90% Polyurethane Foam Pad
10% Polyester Fiber Batting
210 denier polyamide fabric. Tear and abrasion resistant, watertight to 1500 mm Waterproof 600D & 300D Ripstop Polyester 600d Oxford Cloth 300d and 600d Fabric
Stirrups No Yes Yes No No
Canopy Yes No Yes Yes No
Hydration Bladder Compatible No No Yes No No
Included Accessories None Changing Pad, Rain Cover
Care Instructions Wipe Clean Only Hand Wash Spot Clean Spot Clean, No Detergent Spot Clean

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Chicco (kee-ko) company was founded in 1958 by Pietro Catelli, an Italian inventor and developer of pharmaceutical devices. Since then, Chicco has grown into a global brand, selling gear in over 120 countries. They believe in designing and creating gear to make life simpler so you can spend more time with your little one.

Performance Comparison



chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - the chicco smartsupport lacks fit adjustability and padding to be a...
The Chicco SmartSupport lacks fit adjustability and padding to be a comfortable pack for parents.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Parent Comfort


The goal of any baby backpack is to find a comfortable fit to carry your little passenger for an extended time. Compared to the competition, the Chicco SmartSupport offers few ways to make adjustments, which hinders its comfort for the wearer. We suggest passing on this pack if you imagine long hiking adventures with your child.

The key to finding a comfortable fit while using a backpack is finding the right size, which is why torso adjustability is essential. However, this pack offers no torso adjustability, which is a significant drawback.

The hip belt is another crucial component for comfort since the hips carry most of the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, the Chicco's waist straps left us wanting. It did not provide enough padding or support compared to other contenders.

We did experience strain on our shoulders while testing the Chicco, and the pack felt far away from the body, causing us to lean forward to compensate. These matters are likely due to this backpack carrier having no load lifters. Load lifters pull the baby backpack towards you to help center the weight, thus, relieving the shoulders of discomfort.

We noticed the heft and discomfort while carrying our 31-pound toddler tester after 10 minutes of walking, causing us to stop. Again, the backpack accommodates children weighing 17-40 lbs, and our tester was within that range.

chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - the padded back panel is pleasant, but this feature alone isn't...
The padded back panel is pleasant, but this feature alone isn't enough to make the Chicco comfortable to wear.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

One design element we didn't mind is the pack's plush lumbar padding, which protrudes a bit, allowing some airflow to reduce a sweaty back. However, this feature alone is not enough to increase Chicco's overall score in parent comfort.

chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - the chicco lacks features to make it a comfortable ride for little...
The Chicco lacks features to make it a comfortable ride for little ones.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Child Comfort


The Chicco SmartSupport doesn't offer much for child comfort and doesn't contend with higher-ranking contenders, even average-ranking competitors.

The fabric and padded bar of the child cockpit resembles a fabric-style portable high chair, and it lacks the support and comfort we expect from a baby backpack, especially since your child will be riding in it while getting around. The pack has no foot stirrups, the harness straps have no padding, and there is no drool pad. Overall, we don't think the child cockpit feels welcoming or conducive to comfortable napping.

chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - the child harness straps have no padding.
The child harness straps have no padding.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Ease of Use


The Chicco SmartSupport offers fewer features and takes more effort to adjust than the competition.

The Chicco includes a canopy; however, it's not expansive and lacks the ideal coverage we expect. The sunshade doesn't stay fully extended and only covers about half of the cockpit. It's always upright, and we could not remove it once installed. Without proper coverage, we worry about exposing babies' sensitive skin to the sun's powerful rays over time while outside hiking or walking.

chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - raise or lower the height of the child's seat by adjusting the three...
Raise or lower the height of the child's seat by adjusting the three buckles behind the seat.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

To modify the height of the child's seat, you must adjust the three buckles on the Chicco's backside. Working the strap through the buckle to elevate the seat is more difficult than lowering it. Regardless, the system is more time-consuming than other contenders, especially those with one-clasp systems, which are quick and straightforward for both directions.

Adjusting the Chicco's shoulder straps is similar to other contenders; however, the waistband has a one-strap system that you pull to tighten, whereas most backpacks have two.

chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - it's easier to adjust the chicco while the child isn't in it.
It's easier to adjust the Chicco while the child isn't in it.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Storage


It's rare for a baby backpack to have no storage, and the Chicco SmartSupport offers none. Zilch. We think Chicco missed the boat on this, especially as most of the competition of child-carrying packs offer some type of storage. One of the biggest perks of a baby backpack is that you can carry your little passenger and supplies all in one product. Therefore, we think Chicco's lack of storage affects the pack's functionality and can even limit how long you're out trekking without toting supplies.

chicco smartsupport backpack baby backpack review - the chicco's shoulder straps lack padding and remind us of a school...
The Chicco's shoulder straps lack padding and remind us of a school backpack.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Should You Buy the Chicco SmartSupport Backpack?


A comfortable and functional baby backpack can be the key to a successful outing with your child, and unfortunately, the Chicco pack is too bare-bones and low-scoring for us to recommend it. We suggest passing on this option for a higher-ranking pack.

What Other Baby Backpacks Should You Consider?


The LuvdBaby Premium is a higher-ranking option (a big step up from the Chicco!) and affordable. But, if your budget allows, the Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL is even better. It delivers the comfort, support, and functionality that many families seek. Also, those with a slimmer body type or short torso find the Active SL pack exceptionally comfortable.

Molly Bradac & BabyGearLab Review Team
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